Recently, I have noticed being "happy" or pioneer for "happiness" is a major subject of many organizations. We respect living in a world where we are inundated with information about being happy. Doing it could literally be a full job! Being someone who has struggled with depression, has made me wonder what would happen if we were happy all the time, whether unhappiness has an purpose and if happiness is the real thing.
So what would happen if we were happy all the time?
Imagine being one of those who were always happy (there are some out there). What would this be? Wake up to greet every day with a smile, and look forward to what the day will come with. Sounds wonderful. I would be tempted to be and rejoice in the happy state of happiness and do nothing else.
And when I mean nothing else … I just mean that. Life would be good. I would be happy. And I probably would not feel the need to change. Or grow or take challenges that could cause me inconvenience. So I would do the same things every day. Because we look at it … if I'm happy with things like they are, why do I do something to change it?
Hmmm … sounds almost boring.
Look at it so, I'm not sure we're just gonna be happy. As a Minister of Science, I know very little we experience where people are random. Whether it's physical or mental. It perceives to experience the whole range of emotions from happiness to sadness, allowing us to fully describe our feelings. Realizing that happiness is at one end of the spectrum, maybe it's sometimes ok to admit being boring. Sometimes … it might even be necessary.
What do we get from unhappiness?
For many people, depression is common in ADHD. Indeed, almost 50% of people with ADHD experience feelings of low mood, sadness or hopelessness, as well as ADHD symptoms of disturbance, difficulty concentrating, impetuosity and restlessness. With these figures it seems that unhappiness is a normal normal feeling of ADHD. In fact, I would even go beyond the limit to say that it is an important factor.
Because while it's happy is not very fun, it's rich that comes up and down. Range. Being constantly happy would be boring. Boredom is a pathway for people with ADHD. We avoid boredom at all costs. Perhaps unhappiness brings us many experiences that argue that things are the same. We realize that if we can not be happy at the moment, we might like to experience something interesting and different than trying to find the feeling of bliss.
We also tend to evaluate more if we work for them or if they are challenged. If we were happy would be easy, would we appreciate it? Unhappiness and dissatisfaction is uncomfortable. Most people do not look uncomfortable, so we try to change things, because things are different. Whether it is in our work, our relationships, our environment, how we treat ourselves or how we allow others to treat us causes unhappiness to make changes, learn and grow.
Although unhappy is not ideal, sometimes it is necessary. Unhappiness, though not advised as a constant mood, gives us something to support when we seek happiness. It's an important part of the fact that people are willing to work so much and take risks to make changes personally and in their world.
And is happiness even true?
I have not said that we should pursue or celebrate suffering, but maybe it is okay to accept, embrace and experience our sorrow as being important to live full life rather than something to escape.
Personally, I find it helpful to acknowledge my sadness when I'm experiencing it, so I can learn from it and go on. Nothing is worse for me than putting on a "happy" face.
A few years ago I read a book that I had taught in my daughter's daughter. A quote from the book looks like a sum:
"So, this is my life. And I want you to know I'm both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how it could be." Perks of Being a Wallflower
After all, life is full of both rich and sad and if we are to live in full and meaningful life, it means we take all our feelings – good, bad, merry and sad.